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Values and Visions: Youth and the failure of modern Western culture
by Richard Eckersley

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.13-21

The unease and unarticulated fears that many of us have about the direction of our culture are sensitively raised and discussed in this important essay by science writer and strategic analyst Richard Eckersley. The author believes we are experiencing a 'profound transition in western culture', the failure of the old order that will precede the emergence of the new. He believes there is a fundamental failing of modern western culture: 'the absence of a shared ideal or vision of our society and its future, a vision that nurtures and nourishes the individual and helps to hold a society together.'

The National Census of Homeless School Students
by David MacKenzie and Chris Chamberlain

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.22-28

This paper presents the main findings from the first national census of homeless school students in May 1994. After correcting for minor under-counting, the best estimate is that 11,000 school students were homeless in census week. The research also shows that most homeless students drop out of school, and that new cases of homelessness occur throughout the year. It seems likely that between 25,000 and 30,000 school students experience homelessness each year, and that most teenagers have their first experience of homelessness while still at school. There is no nationally coordinated policy on how schools should deal with homeless students. The paper argues that prevention and early intervention policy should focus on schools as the major site for early intervention.

Noticed but not understood
by Ms. Yvette Symons & Prof. Richard Smith

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.29-35

How are the future life chances of homeless youth affected by their school experiences? Interviews with 13 homeless young people indicate that all have negative experiences at school, resulting in high expulsion and drop-out rates. The authors of this research argue that the superficial treatment of homeless youth by schools increases structural disadvantage.

Inquiring into youth homelessness
by Bob Ellis and Rodney Fopp

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.36-40

In December 1993 the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Community Affairs commenced its Inquiry into Aspects of Youth Homelessness. Since then the committee, chaired by Allan Morris MP, has received 170 submissions and held public hearings across the country. Additional hearings are scheduled to be held before the committee's final report. In the interim, the committee has published an interesting discussion paper, the contents of which are reviewed here.

Taking the hiccups out of alcohol education
by Anita Harris & Margaret Sheehan

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.41-45

Traditional alcohol education programs for young people, according to the authors of this paper, are largely unsuccessful. Traditional programs, they argue, are unrealistic, narrow minded and patronising in their appraisal of young people. A more successful strategy, they believe, is a 'harm minimisation' program such as the Cheers Drink Safe project which reappraises young people as autonomous, albeit within specific constraints.

Care and connection: Responding to young mothers' experience of violence
by Karen Healy

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.46-51

Despite increased general awareness about violence in the lives of marginalised young people, young mothers' experiences of abuse have received little research attention. This paper discusses a recent participatory action research project exploring the links between gender and violence in young mothers' lives. On the basis of the research recommendations, the author presents some features of a framework for responding to a culture of violence as it is experienced by young mothers.

Who am I?: Issues relating to identity formation and adoptee adolescents
by Pete Westwood

Youth Studies Australia, v.14 n.1 pp.52-54

Identity formation is a critical process for all people. For adopted children, the process holds additional fears and difficulties. In this short essay, the author, who is himself an adoptee, presents an overview of the issues involved with identify formation in young people who have been adopted.